Jake Elmslie -Sports Editor
Rhode Island College’s Men’s Basketball entered the Murray Center Saturday afternoon with the chance to put themselves within striking distance of claiming the fourth seed in the Little East conference and with it, a home playoff game. For the first three quarters of Saturday’s contest, it seemed like the Anchormen might just take the first step towards their goal, but the team fell prey to a late surge from their competition and were unable to pull off the upset in an 87-68 loss against the Keene State College Owls.
Facing off against the Little East’s second ranked team, the Anchormen held tough for the entirety of the first half in what was a true back and forth affair, with neither team ever holding more than a two possession lead. At the conclusion of the first half, RIC trailed 42-38, but they had accumulated more assists and less turnovers than the opposition in what was a clean half of basketball. The Anchormen were paced through the stanza by senior captain Justin Campbell’s 11 points. In this game, Campbell was coming fresh off of a Wednesday night performance where he recorded his 1000th career point, etching his mark in RIC basketball history.
The first 12 minutes of the second half very much resembled the entirety of the first with RIC and Keene State continuously overtaking one another in a game that seemed destined for a dramatic finish. This would not turn out to be the case though with the game taking a dire turn for the RIC team in the game’s final quarter. “We just ran out of gas” explained Anchormen forward Adham Floyd post game. Coach Glynn had opted to only play six players for a majority of the game, and by the game’s final minutes it became apparent that his team simply could no longer keep up with the fast paced Owls’ offense, surrendering 25 points in the final eight minutes of play.
With this loss, the Anchormen fall to 13-10 on the season and 6-8 in the conference. While a home playoff game is likely off the table for RIC, the team still controls its own destiny in regards to claiming one of the final two playoff berths in the conference. The team has two games remaining in the regular season, both inter-conference matchups, and will be on the road Wednesday for a battle with fourth seed Western Connecticut State University. Tip off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.